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Mounting calls for Burma to release jailed Reuters journalists

PRESSURE is mounting on the government of Burma (Myanmar) to release two local journalists accused of violating national security laws. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo – who had reported extensively on the Rohingya crisis for Reuters – were first detained by police in December last year after being invited for dinner. They have been charged under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act and could face 14 years in prison. The incident has sparked fears of a crackdown on press freedom amid what the United Nations has called “ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya Muslims in the country’s Rakhine State. The United States, Canada and several European countries have called for their release. Last week, they were denied bail and sent back to Yangon’s notorious Insein prison. The two journalists will be back in court on Tuesday for the next in a series of hearings to determine whether they should face charges under...

 

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